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Comment Re:No, drinking soda != smoking (Score 1) 284

Let me guess: You're one of those misguided soda addicts out to defend your disgusting habit? You can quit anytime you want but claim to "enjoy it"? You tell yourself "it's not as bad as people think" because you once heard about a life-long two-cases-a-day pop-drinking grandmother who lived to be 102 with nary a health problem? You're not "one of those" inconsiderate drinkers that leave sticky rings all over the place? That's not your ant-infested collection of empty cans littering the streets? I'll be you even think most soda drinkers are clean and respectful!

When I watch one of you chug down a 32oz Big Gulp, all I see is a junkie pushing a needle in to their veins...

It can be difficult to tell a meth user from a soda drinker. This is your future, if it's not already your reality...

Comment Re:No, drinking soda != smoking (Score 1) 284

Ever been around a heavy soda drinker? It's pretty gross. It's not just the sticky bottles and cans they scatter all over, or even the sticky rings they slosh over every flat surface. A little education could bring that down to an acceptable level. Nothing, sadly, can be done about the weird smell that the leave on whatever they sit on. It's like a nasty fart smell that doesn't go away. I've had to wipe down my chair with bleach wipes after one of those obnoxious sugar guzzlers abused it before I could even stand to be near the thing. It was hours before I could sit on it again.

Don't even get me started on their belch spittle and unimaginable halitosis. It's disgusting. Imagine a mix of puke and axe body spray that they vomit all over everything they're near. .

I say we bring the smokers back just to cover up the stench.

Comment Re:there is no conflict between science and religi (Score 1) 268

Can you explain this mysterious spin? I've done two things. I've pointed out that you're attributing to science finding that have no science behind them. I've also explained why this is bad.

I can't stop you from engaging in pseudoscience, but I can at least point it out.

Comment Re: Oh God (Score 1) 268

Unless I misunderstand you?


Most of the books I have read on the subject seem to agree that this is a view that determinism and free will are compatible.

Compatibilist's views of 'free will' aren't what we're "discussing". Go spend a few minutes reading -- you'll figure it out. They're about as far from the topic at hand as you can get. Here's a hint: To your post, and everything that followed, compatibilist views are indistinguishable from hard determinism.

The entire reason to suppose the non-natural is to provide a mechanism by which some independence of choice can exist. If it were contained within the natural, this could not be so.

So you don't have a justification for asserting the supernatural is necessary for free will. I'm not surprised. What is this mysterious mechanism? If you could posit such a thing, then you'd need to reject its possibility in the natural on grounds other than hard determinism as, with this mechanism established, you could reject hard determinism on that basis. To suggest such a mechanism is to undermine your own assumption. It simply doesn't make any sense to bring in the supernatural -- let alone insist that it's necessary.

while you say you have nothing to address with my "ridiculous" assertions, calling them "ridiculous" does not give me anything to address either.

You could address the deficiency in your understanding?

. I don't see the deficiency in my understanding here.

Damn. Well, I gave it a go.

Comment Re: Oh God (Score 1) 268

This is known as compatiblism.

Nope. Not even close. Go do a tiny bit of reading. You'll quickly discover that compatibilism is not what you think it is! You'd think you'd have looked something up after I ridiculed your post, so as not to look so damn foolish.

It provides a mechanism by which free will can exist. In a libertarian sense.

No, it does not, as I (briefly) explained to you already. But I'll play. Go ahead, let's hear your explanation. How is it that some supernatural thing can have free will? Why does that justification not apply to some natural thing?

Your assumptions that those who disagree with you are uneducated

No, no. This has nothing to do with agreement or disagreement. This is all based on what you've written. The compatibilist bit above makes it pretty clear you don't know much about the subject. It's broad and complicated, so it's not an indictment of your ability, just that it's not as simple as you seem to think it is.

Your arrogance is astounding. Rather than engage in debate, you immediately default to ridicule.

Sometimes, but not always. In your case, you didn't offer anything to deconstruct, just a lot of ridiculous assertions. Like I mentioned earlier, I've see this before, and it's not really worth the effort as most people either don't care or have the necessary background to dig in to the subject. It's not exactly an easy topic for a layperson tackle. Where the hell do you start? Is it even possible with a few quick exchanges? It's simpler just to point in a direction and say, 'look over there' or pose a question that makes them consider their position more fully. With any luck, they'll figure it out on their own.

I posed a question above. Please, give it a go.

Comment Re:there is no conflict between science and religi (Score 1) 268

I knew already when I replied, that I wouldn't be able to convince you

I'm not the guy to which you replied. This may explain why your reply seems so confused.

Nope - it doesn't work like that.

My point was that many of the "scientific" claims you were making were not backed by any actual science. You believe that some research had been done which had not been done. That's why I suggested you go looking for it. What do you call someone who tries to attribute scientific credibility to a claim not backed by actual science? Do you want to fall within that camp?

But why don't you propose a better way of testing a hypothesis than the process known as the scientific method? Scientists are practical people

First, there isn't some monolithic thing called "the scientific method", rigid and unchangeable. It, along with our understanding of science, changes over time and with the area of inquiry. This is an important point, often missed by laypersons without a formal background in science. (It seems to reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of science on your part.) There is an awful lot of misinformation about the nature of science, it's scope, and it's accomplishments spread by misguided science fans. That does surprising amount of harm to the public understanding of science. Far more harm, I suspect, than the nastiest creationist could ever hope to accomplish.

As for something better, I'll remind you that science is not the end of epistemology. I'll add to that the simple fact that the scope of scientific inquiry is bounded. This has been understood for centuries. To deny this is to deny science. What purpose could that serve? So that more lay people can "believe" in some odd parody of science? What good will that do?

Bringing back an earlier objection: To credit to science things which are not science is the hallmark of pseudoscience. Be it scientific claims not backed by actual science or to expand the scope of science beyond its reach. I would assume that you'd rather not align yourself with pseudoscience. If that is the case, please, make sure that you're not spreading it in your quest to defend science. It is, presumably, counter to your goals.

Comment Re: Oh God (Score 1) 268

Secondly, how is your appeal to mystery different from my appeal to supernatural?

I've made no such appeal. All I've done is explain, briefly, why your post was silly nonsense. You're trying to make some inference to my personal views, which I have not offered as they're not relevant to why your post was ridiculous.

you haven't actually said anything again.

You mean my personal viewpoint? Again, it's not relevant. Your post was nothing more than silly nonsense, my personal beliefs don't alter that fact in any way. What I have said, is why the absurdities that you parroted without thinking are so silly.

It is far easier to attack a person then to address their point.

I believe I did address your "points". Though, as I pointed out, you didn't actually offer anything substantive. You made no argument, just a few unsubstantiated and inexplicable assertions. As such, I could only infer your reasoning as to one. As to the other, I did what I could to help you understand why one of your stranger points was total nonsense.

Now, I did ask you to consider some questions. Perhaps if you tried to answer them here, you'll better be able to understand why unsubstantiated assertions are so completely ridiculous. Give it a go. I won't blame if you don't bother posting the results after writing them out. I'd feel pretty silly if I tried to defend such a ridiculous position.

Comment Re: Oh God (Score 1) 268

It's not worth the effort. I've been down this road before. (You're parroting silly nonsense, not your own insites, after all. This is nothing new.) You're not going to catch-up after a few forum posts, and I'm certainly not patient enough today to even try. In this case, ridicule is simpler. Take it for what it is: a hint that you probably need to learn a bit more about the subject before repeating what you read in the comment's section of some kid's blog.

What you're really saying, to anyone who's actually familiar with the subject, is something on the order of "I can think of nothing else, so this must be true". It's not terribly convincing, or terribly interesting. Why you thought this was profound enough to post I'll leave for you to puzzle out.

What differentiates your understanding from compatabilist or just randomness?

If I had to guess, I'd go with an actual education. (Damn, that's egotistical! Even I cringed.) Anyhow, let me take a guess as to where "you" might have gone wrong. I'm going to assume "your" reasoning is identical to every other layperson parroting this same nonsense. Typically, people get confused when they ask the question "how is free will possible?" They spend a lot of time looking for a strict causal chain that can lead ultimately to a free decision, and discover (to their shock and amazement) that a deterministic account of free will isn't possible and reject free will on that basis. Essentially, begging the question. Let's put that a bit more suscinctly: They reject free will on the basis that a plausible deterministic account for it cannot be given! You really couldn't offer a less convincing argument than that. It's silly, yet you see it in blog comments all the time. Is "your" reasoning any different? I suspect it isn't.

As for the supernatural bit, that's a mystery. It's certainly not a necessary assumption, or even a plausible one. Changing the nature of the agent makes absolutely no difference. Ask yourself, "what is the essential difference between your supernatural agent and your meat robot agent?" Why do you allow free will for one and not for the other? (Note that you haven't considered this before now.) See how silly, it seems? What applies to one ought to apply to the other. It's completly pointless. Why bring that in to the discussion at all? It makes absolutely no sense. Now, I have seen this ridiculous nonsense appear along side silliness like the faulty reasoning above on forums and blog comments. Given how ridiculous it is, I can only guess you got it from some source like that and just didn't think about it before repeating it.

As I said before, I can only assume that you're reasoning is no more complicated than "I can think of nothing else, so this must be true". Which, again, isn't terribly convincing. It is incredibly silly, however, as you say it with such conviction, despite the obvious lack of thought. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seriously doubt I am. The inexplicable supernatual bit is pretty damning.

Well, you could ridicule me or provide a contrary argument.

Sadly, lacking free will, I had no choice in the matter. Ridicule it must be. I suppose if I had free will I could offer something contrary, but there isn't really anything to argue about here. You haven't offered anything substative. I think "I" at least made that clear.

Comment Re:Religion is not rational (Score 1) 268

Religion is by definition NOT rational.

I'm curious as to what you think the word "rational" means, and how that applies to your "definition" of religion: "faith in an unfalsifiable concept"

But then you start to lean off the rails.

What rationality it does have is largely argued from false or unprovable premises.

So, it's by definition not rational, but it does have some rationality. Too much fun. This next bit will tweak your nose:

Furthermore religions do not restrict themselves to purely logical conclusions from their premises.

Neither does science! (For added fun, science also has unproven and unprovable premises at its very foundation.) Does that make it "not rational" "by definition" as well?

I'm going to guess that you haven't thought this through. You're probably just a science fan, with no formal background in science, repeating the things you think you're supposed to say. A shame you look My advice? Let the religion thing go. The Dover trial ended nearly 10 years ago. You also look ridiculous.

Comment Re:there is no conflict between science and religi (Score 1) 268

You're not going to get anywhere. See, you actually believe that an awful lot of science has been done on the various topics you hint at. In reality, very little has been done. Certainly not enough to draw any sort of conclusion or even form a reasonable position.

Let's start here:

Every attempt at reproducing them fails - so, science has to conclude that the reasoning behind the story was wrong.

What I'd like you to do is try to find an example or two written up in a proper peer-reviewed journal. You'll find it incredibly difficult.

You'll find a lot of modern "scientific" beliefs have absolutely no actual science behind them.

It isn't desperately important for us to have absolute certainty about anything, except perhaps the scientific method; and even that one we only accept because there is no alternative.

Science, as it happens, is not the end of epistemology. Neither is it some static and unchanging thing necessarily beyond question. It also has its share of well-established issues; it's not perfect. (Note: I'm talking about science as a method of inquiry here, not sciences as a body of knowledge. ) These are not controversial statements among those with a formal background in science. It's simply reality.

I'm concerned that you've elevated science the same way a religious zealot would elevate some sacred texts. (This is not uncommon among the lay science fans.) When you treat science like a religion, you tend to ascribe to science things which you believe for reasons unrelated to science and make bold pronouncements like the ones you've made here. When someone checks up on those and finds out that there is no science behind those scientific claims, what will they conclude? How will that color their impression of science and scientists? You may end up doing far more harm than good.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?